Aon Employee Benefits, the UK health and benefits business of Aon plc (NYSE:AON), has said that its Benefits and Trends Survey 2018 showed 41% of employers are unaware of the implications of the Optional Remuneration Arrangements (OPRA) which are coming into force on 6 April. Just 20% of organisations that responded to the survey had made the necessary changes, while 38% said their strategy is unaffected. OPRA was implemented by the Government in April 2017.
Jeff Fox, principal at Aon Employee Benefits, commented:
“In April, the ‘grandfathering’ measures that many organisations utilised as a short-term approach to maintain their previous taxation position will come to an end – and HMRC are ready to act. We understand they are conducting more frequent audits under the guise of ‘know your customer’ visits, and asking to see flexible benefits agreements to focus on OPRA arrangements.
“If companies don’t know if they are impacted by the regulations, we would suggest they seek advice and then act quickly to create long-term compliant solutions. The process can take some time.”
The tax advantages removed with new OPRA rules, mean both employers and employees need to be ready for tax charges. The tax changes impact two of the mainstays of flexible benefit arrangements, group life assurance and group income protection, and will apply from 6 April 2018.
Jeff Fox added:
“We believe the 41% of employers not preparing for OPRA are unlikely to be our clients, as we’ve been preparing ours for some time. Non-compliance not only has tax liabilities but also can have brand PR consequences as HMRC has been known to name and shame organisations.”
Louise Woodward (Chartered MCIPD)
Louise is an experienced specialist accounting & finance recruitment professional with over 30 years’ experience specialising in the sector during which time she has gained an esteemed reputation as one of the region’s leading recruiters evidenced by her long list of loyal and happy clients. Louise is also Group Secretary …